Craft House Client, Troutbeck, Featured In Architectural Digest
All in the Family: Alexandra, Anthony, and Charlie Champalimaud Talk Preservation, Design, and Working Together on Troutbeck
The recently opened retreat in upstate New York was a family collaboration
By Hadley Keller, Architectural Digest
One Wednesday afternoon, I’m waiting on a conference call for a final party to arrive, a fairly common occurrence for a reporter, when I hear something that’s quite uncommon on these types of calls: the cry of a baby in the background. In this case, though, the adorable interruption couldn’t be more apropos. Alexandra Champalimaud, the renowned designer behind some of the world’s most iconic hotels, and her daughter-in-law, Charlie, are on the line. The baby in question is Johan, son of Charlie and Anthony—Alexandra’s son, who is running late. “Oh, you should get him on here,” jokes Alexandra of her grandson. “He’s quite charismatic!”
Minutes later, Anthony is on the line, wondering if I've been regaled with tales of his tardiness. I tell him no, that we've been sticking to the subjects of the baby and the weather. "I'm surprised," he laughs. "I thought you were going to hear it from both my wife and mother that I’m always late." Alexandra and Charlie chuckle in unison. "No, we were very polite," his mother insists.
This playful, familiar (and familial) rapport is very much the backbone of Troutbeck, the Champalimauds' latest project, a restoration that was a collaborative effort among the trio. The Amenia, New York, property, which reopened late last year under the Design Hotels portfolio, served as a haunt for the likes of Mark Twain, Thurgood Marshall, and Ernest Hemingway during its ownership by two separate intellectual and political families, the Bentons and the Springarns. Its rich history and intellectual legacy, coupled with its need for renovation, piqued the aesthetic, entrepreneurial, and preservationist interests of Alexandra, Anthony, and Charlie. Nearly four years ago, they, along with partner Douglas Horne, a preservationist whose real estate company, D.R. Horne & Company, has worked on the Woodstock Inn and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, acquired the storied property and set about returning it to a modern version of its former glory. Hearing Alexandra, Anthony, and Charlie talk about the project, their passion is palpable. Hearing them talk about it together, so is their collaborative nature. Read on to learn about Troutbeck's legacy, its renovation, and the special joys of working with family.